Wednesday, November 25, 2009

OPINION: Giving Thanks And The High Cost Of Denial

Magdalena Potluck
By Margaret Wiltshire

Here we are giving thanks again and preparing to celebrate the other grand holidays before us. Personally, I love it, and I don’t deny the pain and suffering that often comes with it.
Churchill said of us, “You can always count on Americans to do the right thing-after they have tried everything else.” That’s a left handed compliment if ever there was one. Winston Churchill was speaking of our delay in joining the fight against Hitler, I’m assuming.
I read this quote a few months ago and can’t get it out of my mind. The list of important areas in our lives where we “keep trying everything else first” seems to get longer and longer. The never ending “honey do” list. Each area a challenge, but the piling up of the unattended to, might just crush US.
Steve Kroft did a segment on 60 Minutes about the high cost of dying. The first point made, we are often in denial about dying. We do die, will die, all of us. Testing, treatment, hospital and ICU-stay for terminal patients cost $50 billion a year. Up to $10,000 a day maintaining someone in ICU. Medicare, insurance companies will pay until we are broke. I mean the USA broke, not just you. (Take a look,
I am a grandma, and I know there will be a day when enough is enough. I’m not a stupid grandma.
Hospitals are making the last days of many people miserable and degraded. Your only hope now to save your family some money and your self some peace and dignity is a living will.
While all this is going on, some people (now they say 30 million) can’t get in the door. Children, young people, experienced workers can’t get in the health care door. People who have a life yet to live don’t get treatment and almost 90 year old women, who are dying, get pap smears.
All I want for the holidays is for “right to life” to mean something beyond self-right, self-might, and anger.
Do you see “right to life” demonstrations in front of home where a spouse or child is being beaten? Stopping a war for profit? Getting the spouse of a small new business owner health care?
Don’t we have the right also to die without every part of our body being twisted and pumped for every last ounce of profit?
Double checking my Churchill quote, I found lots of goodies that were new to me. Please think of these quotes as holiday party favors from me.
Here’s one for our Congressman, Harry Teague. He recently voted against the health care bill. “An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile hoping it will eat him last.” Just who was the Congressman representing in that vote?
More goodies from the tough Englishman. “A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get it’s pants on.” So hard to choose. Well, let’s give it to “there is no global warming” crowd and the “we are entitled to all resources” group.
Hundreds of icebergs are floating north from the Antarctic. A warning has gone out to shipping vessels in the southern seas especially around New Zealand.
Hey, a new industry for New Mexico, wrangle a few ice bergs and sell the water, at gourmet prices, to Texas. We’re so clever we wouldn’t sell the water right from beneath us. That would be Homeland Insecurity.
There is only one thing more cuddly then fleece from Red China, that’s denial.
Giving thanks and affection to Magdalena and Neighbors, one more quote from Churchill: “Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is what it takes to sit down and listen.” Have great holidays, be brave and do the right thing.

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